$611M in Sears Canada dividend payments under review by court monitor

The court appointed monitor for Sears Canada's insolvency says it is reviewing millions of dollars the company paid in dividends while its pension fund fell short.

Monitor flags $102M dividend payment from 2012, $509M payment in 2013

A shopper leaves a Sears department store in Oakville, Ont. on the final day of shopping before the store ceased operations in December 2017. The retail chain's last remaining stores closed their doors for the final time on Jan. 14, 2018. (Richard Buchan/Canadian Press)

The court appointed monitor for Sears Canada's insolvency says it is reviewing millions of dollars the company paid in dividends while its pension fund fell short.

FTI Consulting Canada Inc. filed a report Monday with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice that says it will review some transactions, payments and dividends entered into, made or declared by the company before they filed for protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act.

The monitor identifies a $102 million dividend payment on Dec. 31, 2012 and a $509 million dividend payment on Dec. 6, 2013 as two transactions of interest.

When the department store chain sought approval to liquidate in 2017, it was grappling with a more than $260 million shortfall in its pension plan.

A Sears Canada Retiree Association website says the pension was 19 per cent short of what it needed to meet its commitments as of Dec. 31, 2015.

The retail chain's last remaining stores closed their doors for the final time on Jan. 14 this year.